Fat dogs are adorable! Fat cats, too! And bunnies. And chipmunks. And birds. And it’s sort of true. Except that while it’s cute being fat is actually really, really difficult. Here at My Vet Animal Hospital – Waterloo, we recognise that, and that’s why we put some of our “curvier” furbabies on our fabulous “Bringing Sexy Back” weight-loss program.

But, first, you need to ask yourself: is your pet overweight?

Does it matter?

Animals are really not too different from humans when it comes to being overweight. The fatter your fur-baby, the more prone it is to heart problems, diabetes, joint problems, and liver disease, among others. This means your furbaby’s life span may be significantly reduced; that’s fewer happy years spent with you.

So…is my furbaby fat?

It’s not easy to tell if your furbaby is fat. I was convinced that my dog was the perfect weight…until I realised she had a roll of fat on the base of her tail and I couldn’t feel her ribs. By most metrics, my little girl was overweight, if not obese. And I was in denial for months afterward. (If you ask me now, I’ll still tell you she’s perfect. It’s just a reflex.)

There are a few ways to tell if there’s more fat than fluff under that cuddly exterior.


Much like how the Body Mass Index (BMI) isn’t the perfect way to measure the amount of fat you actually have, we can’t use just weight to determine if your furbaby is fat. There are furbabies of all shapes and sizes, weight on its own is literally just a number.

We like the Hill’s Body Fat Index (BFI) which, while also not perfect, gives us a really good idea of how much fat your furbaby is lugging around and how much weight needs to be lost.

First, based on an easy visual chart with several criteria, we determine how much body fat we’re dealing with. Then, based on this percentage and your furbaby’s current weight, we can tell you roughly how much your furbaby needs to weigh.

How we can help

We’re passionate about your furbaby’s health (and Dr. Cherlene is especially passionate about nutrition). Your part at home is to decrease food and increase exercise. Our part is to support you. This may mean giving you ideas on low fat treats or little exercise you and your furbaby can enjoy at home. We can also help you calculate the number of calories your furbaby should be eating, depending on the food being fed. Other times, it can mean deciding if there’s an underlying medical problem that’s causing your furbaby to pack on the pounds and a prescription diet may be warranted.

You’re always welcome to pop by for a weigh-in! We can have a quick chat each time about your furbaby’s progress and give you ideas. We’ll plug these numbers into our system and celebrate with you when your furbaby has officially brought sexy back!

Ready for an appointment?

Our team is here to answer your questions and get an appointment scheduled for you.

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